Jared Calls For Talks On Trees.
Over the past few weeks, I have been speaking to a large number of my constituents and keeping abreast of recent developments with Sheffield City Council’s Tree Felling Programme. Following on from this I am dismayed to learn that there are provisions in the Council’s contract with Amey which will allow up to 17,500 trees to be felled (half of the city’s street based stock) seemingly at the mere whim of a private company.
I have made no secret of my distaste for the Tree Felling Programme previously and demonstrated this by passing on the protestors’ petition in opposition to it to Jeremy Corbyn last October.
In addition, I have visited various sites across Hallam and have seen with my own eyes that innumerable healthy trees, which are neither “dangerous, dying, diseased, damaged, dead or discriminatory” (the council’s criteria for removal) have been unnecessarily and inexplicably earmarked for felling.
Furthermore, I have spoken to a sizeable number of my constituents who have expertise in engineering and other relevant disciplines related to the situation at hand. As such, I am calling on the council to immediately cease their Tree Felling Programme in our constituency and speak to these experts and all other residents and campaigners in conjunction with the existing members of the Independent Tree Panel to open an extensive review on a case by case, tree by tree basis to find alternative and affordable engineering solutions. The aim being that as many of the remaining trees as possible (hopefully all of them) scheduled for felling can be saved whilst not impeding the council’s road repairing and relaying programme.
I would be delighted to help with the organisation of such a review and arrange the process and meetings between residents, experts, campaigners, Amey and the Council whereby a mutually agreeable and peaceful solution can be found in each specific instance that is not only affordable for the council but also environmentally friendly.
Lastly, I would also like to place on record my support of our Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, Dr Alan Billings, in his view that our Police should not need to be involved in any further protests. This is a civil matter and not a criminal matter and there need not be any more protests in any case if all parties can meet and an extensive review can be undertaken.
Jared O'Mara MP
15 March 2018